Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Makes Fighting the Flu Educational and Fun

Medical personnel administering a shot

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is helping its communities navigate this year’s flu season as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. And they are doing it by making flu prevention fun to learn and easy to do.

CHOP clinicians suggest starting off the flu season by making flu vaccines a family activity. "Every healthy child and adult should get their flu vaccine as soon as possible," said Geraldine O'Hare, M.S.N., C.R.N.P., a nurse practitioner at CHOP Primary Care, Cobbs Creek. "It's one way we – as a society – can protect the most vulnerable among us. When most of us get the flu vaccine, we create 'herd immunity,' and protect the weakest or immune compromised members of our community."

O’Hare further explains: "Flu shots are more critical than ever this year," added O'Hare. "The possibility of catching the flu and COVID-19 – and having both at the same time – poses a very real danger to families."

Visitors to CHOP’s online flu season resource center will find tips on how to prevent the flu, the benefits of getting the flu vaccine, and a link to make an appointment now.

The resource center also offers recommendations for staying safe from COVID-19 as the two highly contagious viruses collide. CHOP clinicians encourage parents and children to follow CDC’s COVID-19 preventive measures, such as mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and if eligible, get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A unique twist to the hospital’s flu season resource center is the history on the influenza vaccine. The vaccine was first approved for public use in the 1940s and has been proven over time to be safe and effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

Other historic flu facts featured on the page are:

  • Flu pandemics occur about three times every century, including 1889, 1900, 1918, 1957, 1968, and 2009.
  • The flu pandemics in 1957 and 1968 each claimed four to six million lives.
  • The 1918 pandemic, known as the Spanish Flu, was the most deadly, killing between 50 and 100 million people.

A video offers an intimate look at the making of the flu vaccine during the 1968 pandemic.

CHOP’s online Vaccine Education Center serves as an additional tool to help families take control of their health. Educational materials specifically developed for the 2021-2022 flu season address confusion associated with the flu and COVID-19; increased risks to becoming infected with both viruses; and the possibility of overwhelming health care resources if the viruses circulate and escalate at the same time.

CHOP also offers a free “Vaccine on the Go: What You Should Know” mobile app for quick and easy access to accurate, science-based vaccine information wherever and whenever people need it. And a "Just the Vax" vaccine trivia game makes learning how to prevent diseases by getting vaccinated fun.